Key Points:

  • Etihad Airways is set to resume Airbus A380 flights on its Abu Dhabi-New York route from April 22, following the successful reintroduction of the aircraft on the London Heathrow route.

  • The Gulf carrier currently operates three A380s on the London route, with plans to deploy the aircraft for one of its double-daily New York JFK flights.

  • CEO Antonoaldo Neves highlights this move as a response to growing demand and part of Etihad's broader network expansion, including a new route to Boston.

Etihad's A380 Returns to New York Route

NEW YORK — Etihad Airways is preparing to bring back the Airbus A380 to its Abu Dhabi-New York service starting next summer. This decision marks the reintroduction of the ultra-large aircraft on a second major route, following the resumption of A380-operated flights to London Heathrow in July. The Gulf-based airline had ceased A380 operations during the pandemic and announced last year its plan to reintroduce four of its ten A380s, a response to the global challenge of aircraft capacity.

From April 22, Etihad plans to operate the A380 on one of its two daily flights to New York's JFK Airport. Prior to the pandemic, the A380 was a regular feature on this route. The airline currently utilizes Airbus A350s and Boeing 787-9s for these flights and will continue to operate the latter for its second daily service.

Strategic Expansion and Network Growth

Etihad's Chief Executive Officer, Antonoaldo Neves, expressed the strategic rationale behind the deployment of the A380 on the New York route, citing an increase in customer demand and network expansion. The move coincides with the launch of Etihad’s new Boston route on March 31, reinforcing the airline's ambitious growth objectives in the US market.

While the airline has not disclosed plans for additional A380s to support the New York service, the reintroduction of the aircraft is a significant step in enhancing capacity on this popular route. The decision to deploy the A380 aligns with Etihad's efforts to accommodate increased passenger volumes and expand its global network, catering to the evolving needs of international travelers.